Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

LONGTAIL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 684016
Country: Finland
Domain: Digital Economy

More effective, less intrusive ad platform makes publishers’ lives easier

Besides how intrusive they are — which results in resorting more to ad blockers — the lack of contextualisation of online ads and their inefficient placement on webpages often results in disappointing revenues. A Finnish company is proposing a novel ‘in-content’ advertising platform solving all three problems at once.
More effective, less intrusive ad platform makes publishers’ lives easier
The concept of ‘in-content’ advertising may sound scary at first, but the way Kiosked conceives it actually provides ad-averse web users with a glimpse of hope. ‘In-content advertising is by far more effective than placing ads in the old/standard way, that is, on the periphery of the page,’ says company co-founder and CEO Antti Pasila. ‘Better ad placements allow publishers to reduce the number of ads on their page, which in turn makes the user experience better. This results in an increased amount of content being consumed on the site, hence generating more revenue from each page.’

And this actually works: the company grew 400 % in 2015, just one year after the launch of its platform, and is not intending to stop its ascension anytime soon. ‘It’s difficult to plan over the long term, but as a technology-focused and growing startup, we are aiming for annual triple digit growth for the next three years,’ Pasila enthuses.

When it launched its SME instrument project called LONGTAIL (Transforming digital in-content advertising to deliver global scale) in September 2015, the company was already serving 250 million people with over 3 billion ads each month.

From personalised to contextualised apps

But it’s not just web users that Kiosked aims to appeal to. Its in-content advertising platform, which was launched in 2014, balances their reading comfort with tangible improvements for publishers too.

While most of these publishers have been used to displaying ads irrelevant to their content on their website, they are indeed starting to care more and more. This has already pushed the likes of Google and Facebook to create personalised ads, but experts in the field agree that the real solution lies in personalised ads that are also contextualised and that leave publishers with more freedom in ad placement. Kiosked is bringing exactly that whilst not taking control away from the user, which provides its technology with a unique appeal that has not gone unnoticed by publishers like the Daily Mail, News Corp and CNN.

One of the platform’s notable features is combining the utilisation of browser data with real user eye-tracking data to improve selection of ad inventory placement: ‘We utilise a company that has a panel of people around the world with a device connected to their computers. This device tracks eye movement when the user is browsing content and creates a visualisation of where people are looking when they are on a site. This heatmap gives us information on where our script should create the ad inventory. We use this data to tell our software what placements are most effective,’ Pasila explains.

This is all part of a bigger plan to move away from manual inventory optimisation to a fully automated solution, which the company describes as a ‘publisher end-to-end self-service’. This service package notably includes a ‘sniffer’ creating ad-placements in new areas of the site in no time, as well as new types of ad placements not yet seen anywhere else.

Eventually, Pasila hopes that the company will keep growing and continue to challenge the world’s biggest players in digital advertising. ‘Facebook and Google dominance essentially comes from the unparalleled reach that both networks have, along with the fact that both have self-served capabilities and a very active partner network built around them. I believe that increased standardisation and collaboration between other companies in this sector, which we can already see happening, can really shake things up,’ he concludes.

Related information

Keywords

LONGTAIL, digital advertising, in-content advertising, end-to-end self-service
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